Simple Steps to Make Time for Family When Busy

Spending time with family is important, especially for children, but finding the time in order to have complete unstructured family time may be more and more difficult to come by.

Many families run on tight schedules these days. In most families, both parents work full-time and kids are enrolled in any number of after school activities. With such hectic lifestyles, it may be hard to make time to enjoy each other’s company. Studies have shown that there are plenty of benefits to spending quality family time. Family relationships help kids build relationships with others, it helps their academic performance, and it can even help their overall health. Here are some ways to make time in your busy schedule to help make sure that you squeeze some time in for your kids and your whole family.

Family Time at the table
1.   Have a home cooked meal. Kids who eat dinner with their families are much better at forming and maintaining relationships, perform better at school, and are even healthier. Home cooked meals made from scratch are usually much healthier than fast food meals grabbed on the go, and they also provide kids with the opportunity to become acquainted with what they are eating. Sitting around the table and having a quality dinner together is beneficial for the whole family while creating lasting memories. If you are pressed for time and think that it may be impossible to cook when you’re swamped with work and busy schedules, take one afternoon or evening out of the week to prep meals ahead of time. Do all of the prep work and simply stick the food in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be prepared. Even if you don’t eat a home cooked meal every day, having at least a few will help improve your child’s health and will help get in some quality family time as well.

2.  If you can’t eat in, eat out! If you are, in fact, too busy or too tired to cook, it might still be helpful to spend a meal time with everyone in the family out at a restaurant. Dining out can be fun, but usually only if children are a little older. But planning an afternoon or evening around a family meal at a restaurant can be both fun and relaxing. Even if you are not the one cooking, everyone is gathered around the table, making conversation and spending time together. You can pick a day out of the week if possible that is family night out time.

3.   Plan a movie night. Between sports practice, after school activities, work, meetings and a variety of other things, it may be difficult to find an overlapping period of time where everyone in the family is free. If you have the luxury of examining everyone’s schedule ahead of time, even if it is just by a few days, schedule a movie night at home. Get popcorn and kick back – you can all take a breather from your hectic lives and unwind while also enjoying some family friendly entertainment together!
Family Movie Night

4.  Make small talk. There may be days where you find that everyone in the family seems to be in different places at different times. With this sort of schedule, it may be difficult to really catch up and have a quality conversation. For kids, it is always important to have strong interpersonal relationships, and parents can still accomplish this by taking time out of their day to ask their child about school, what they’re up to, or even just shoot the breeze. Having conversations with kids, especially ones where you treat them like contemporaries, helps boost their self-esteem. When they hear that you are genuinely interested in their thoughts and feelings, they will take the time to form genuine answers which can be vital to their personal and mental development. Even though more unstructured family time is preferable, even small interactions can build up over time and will still mean a lot.

5. Take a break! Even when we’re unwinding and relaxing, we can find ourselves preoccupied. Whether our eyes are glued to our phones, laptops, or even the TV, it’s important to take a step back and interact with those around us. Sure, indulging yourself in some entertainment can help relax you after a long, busy day but it is much more important to interact with your family, make conversation, or even share in these activities together.

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Tips on Getting Your Kids Outside

Now that spring is finally here, spending time outdoors is a reasonable thing to do. Long winters can have anyone, especially kids, feeling cooped up – but these days it may be a little more difficult to get kids to play outside. Aside from growing comfortable indoors over the long, cold winter, there are so more gadgets these days that draw kids to spending time indoors. From televisions to tablets, kids have a wealth of different things to do when indoors, and while some kids are simply eager to run around and play outside, for others it may be a little harder to pry them from their precious screens.
Staying indoors is fine, but getting some fresh air and exercise is good for your health, especially for a child’s. Considering the growing problem of childhood obesity and other such concerns, it’s important that parents make sure that their kids are active enough and enjoying the outdoors as well. Tablets, television shows and books can be good, especially if there is a creative or educational element to them, however being active is also important.  What better way to get kids to play than entice them with going outside?

If your child is reluctant to go outdoors, you can begin by simply moving their usual indoor activities outdoors. Bring books and tablets out into the yard or to the park. Kids are still getting fresh air but just by simply being outside they may eventually feel tempted to run around a bit or participate in games with other children if they happen to be around. You could also use their favorite sedentary activities to inform ideas for more active ones. For instance, if your child loves a show that is about animals that live in the woods, you can entice them with a hike through a national park or local forest trail that you can explore, or even have a pick nick at a woodsy park. If sports are a favorite then try asking them to play or to even teach you what they know. If kids are really into tablet games, you can try and role-play and recreate the game in real life! For instance, if your kids love Angry Birds, you can set up Lego structures with stuffed animals scattered throughout – then you can try and throw soft balls such as hackie sacks at the structures in order to knock them down! This can be a great backyard activity that can get kids moving and playing outside. publishes personalized children’s books, gifts, reading and parenting resources.

Never Too Young to Write a Book

Writing a novel is a big achievement. Many adults aspire to write a novel one day but rarely find the time or the right story to tell. Kids have imaginations that run wild, so why not tap into those novel writing aspirations early on? Kids can be picky about books, but they may be more likely to pick up new ones if they know that they have written one themselves.
Child drawing pictures for her book
Working on a book with your kids can be beneficial. Not only will kids be able to exercise their creativity, but they will also be actively exercising their writing and communication skills with the help of their innate creativity. Writing a book is a great artistic activity for kids of any age. Craft and retail department stores usually have all of the materials that you need: blank books or journals, crayons or markers, glitter and glue, you name it. Some may even carry book making kits with all of the materials that you might need included along with some fun guides, suggestions and additions. A great website with great book making materials for kids is
Once you have all of your ingredients, kids can begin brainstorming about what they may want their book to be about. They can retell a story of something that happened to them in the past year, such as a fun family vacation or an exciting achievement at school. Encourage them to use photos but drawing pictures can also work, allowing them to be expressive and imaginative. Kids can also write about fantastical stories. They can make up their own fairy tale, write about an adventure that they would like to have someday, or write about characters that they have thought up on their own.
If kids are looking for inspiration, they can look to books and stories that they already love. Even researching for ideas can open them up to new material. No matter where the inspiration comes from, their final product will be something that they can be proud of for years to come. Not only that, but it can serve as a great piece of memorabilia from their childhood as they get older.  You can even pitch their stories to independent publishers such as

Tying in activities with key learning skills can be easy. Writing and crafting a book cannot only unleash a child’s imagination but it can help them learn how to best use their skills and improve them all while having fun.